Laney High School will hold its third annual Fred Lynch Invitational through Wednesday at six different locations across the area. Featuring 50 basketball teams from all over the state, including some of the premier talent in Wilmington and Raleigh, this year’s event has become one of the top locations for summer basketball on the high school landscape.
“It’s growing and we try to do a good job running the event, keeping it organized and as we develop better relationships with coaches in the state, this is something we envisioned when we started this invite three years ago,” said Laney Basketball Coach Nathan Faulk. “The county schools are great in helping us with facilities and area churches have come on board over the last few years to allow to use their facilities. We also have some great sponsors on board. From a community standpoint everyone is really stepped up and it keeps growing.”
In the summer of 2012, Laney Coach Nathan Faulk began the invite in honor of Coach Fred Lynch and all his service he provided to the Laney Basketball program over his career. Lynch is the Athletic Director at Laney. The court inside Michael Jordan Gymnasium was named in his honor in 2012 after 26 years as head coach, compiling more than 400 wins.
The invite is now an annual event taking place the last week of June. The inaugural tournament features 18 high school teams from the Wilmington area, the Triangle and Sandhills.
“The biggest difference this year compared to years past is we have the Jordan Brand helping us out,” said Faulk. “This is going to make the experience great for the kids. Jordan Company athletes signed to the Jordan Brand will be coming in host skill sessions. There will be a players lounge set up for them to relax, play video games. There’s a lot of cool stuff planned. Opening ceremonies begin at 8:30 p.m. at Laney on Monday.”
The Jordan Brand will pay homage to its namesake, going back to Michael Jordan’s years at Laney High School. At the opening ceremony on Monday night, Jordan Brand and the Laney High School community will celebrate a newly refurbished gym, where special guests will discuss the beginning of Michael Jordan’s journey towards greatness and his impact on the local community. A question and answer session will also take place with Lynch and Ruby Sutton, Michael Jordan’s PE teacher.
Pool play for basketball games tip off today and continue through Tuesday, with a single game elimination tournament on Wednesday. There will be three tournament champions crowned on Wednesday. Games will be played at Laney High School, Northside Baptist Church, Trask Middle School, Holly Shelter Middle School, Wrightsboro Baptist Church and the Wilmington Basketball Center.
A one-day pass to the event is $6, while a three-day tournament pass is $15. Kids under 12 get in free. Click here for more information on this year’s Third Annual Fred Lynch Invitational.